Men’s Soccer: Terriers salvage draw against city-rivals Northeastern

By Charlie DeMatteo

Boston University men’s soccer (7-3-4, 4-1-1 PL) came from a goal behind to earn a 1-1 draw against the Northeastern Huskies (3-6-5, 1-3-3) at home at Nickerson Field on Tuesday night.

Having their seven-game unbeaten streak snapped last time out against Loyola Maryland, the Terriers were looking for a bounce back performance.

“It was a good second half performance to respond after a poor end to the first half,” BU Head Coach Kevin Nylen said postgame. “I thought there was more urgency in the second half.”

Both teams rotated their starting lineups heavily for the rivalry game. The Terriers, focused on the home stretch of the Patriot League campaign, rotated all but one regular starter, with sophomore defender Ryan Lau keeping his place in the starting 11.

Nine minutes in, the Huskies had a half-chance on the counter-attack through junior forward Sebastian Restrepo. The forward found himself free down the right flank but took one touch too many before the BU defense was able to clear any danger. 

BU responded a minute later through sophomore forward Alex Bonnington with a half-chance of their own. Sophomore midfielder Diego Rived played an inch-perfect long pass into the path of Bonnington who brought it down deftly, but he couldn’t get his shot away.

Rived, the provider on the Bonnington chance, turned recipient, when he latched onto a cross from the right flank in the 17th minute. The sophomore made a diving header to get his body to it, but couldn’t control his effort and it dribbled harmlessly wide.

Neither team had a shot on target in the entire first 44 minutes, until Northeastern struck via a stroke of bad luck from the BU defense. 

In the final seconds of the first half, graduate midfielder Ahria Simons made a bursting run down the right flank and whipped in a dangerous ball which was turned into the BU net by junior defender Neal Carlson for an own goal.

“To go down a goal in the last minute is a tough way to end,” Nylen said. “I don’t think it was a poor half, it was just a poor minute and a half.”

Despite neither team having a shot on target of the opposition’s goal, the Huskies entered the break up 1-0.

“The message at halftime was that you can’t play for 43 minutes and 30 seconds, you have to play the full 45,” Nylen said. “We needed to continue to find pockets going forward, and I thought the guys did a good job of such.”

The Terriers started off the second half on the front foot with freshman forward Keke Abai having a diving header dribble just wide in the 57th minute.

Then at the hour mark, a plethora of regular starters checked into the game for the Terriers. These subs included senior midfielders Quinn Matulis and Colin Innes, as well as junior forward Eitan Rosen.

“We wanted to rest some legs after a weekend bus trip,” Nylen said. “I was really happy with our total group tonight.”

Rosen made a quick impression just two minutes after being subbed on when he registered the first Terrier effort on target in the 62nd minute.

Northeastern responded just two minutes later though through sophomore forward Fraser Brown who struck the post with a powerful shot.

At the 77 minute mark, Rosen had yet another chance to equalize for BU. The junior made a dangerous run down the left flank before cutting onto his right foot to curl an effort just inches wide of the frame.

Finally, though, Rosen was third time lucky in the 82nd minute after a turnover in possession saw him through on goal once more. This time, Rosen made no mistake as he rolled one into the Northeastern net, putting the Terriers back on level terms.

“[Rosen] probably should have had a second tonight,” Nylen said, laughing. “When space opens up, he is able to have some joy. He’s done it this season and hopefully he has a few more in the tank.”

BU weren’t satisfied there, however, as they had a couple of huge chances in the dying moments of the game

First, in the 87th minute, senior forward Aidan Bone latched on to a header which missed by just inches. Then, in the final minute of the game, senior forward Andrew Rent unleashed a rocket from outside the box which was parried onto the crossbar by Northeastern goalie Colby Hegarty.

That would be all the action to end the game, as both teams settled for a draw.

The Terriers will look to get back to winning ways next time out against Bucknell on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.